"I've seen starers in my time, many of them, but never one that came within a mile of putting up the performance which Chuffy did then. The eyebrows had shot up, the jaw had fallen, and the eyes were protruding from one to two inches from their parent sockets."Happens when a cartoon character is so shocked (shocked!) that his eyes stretch far from his eyesockets or even pop from their sockets, connected only by a thin muscle, or not stay connected at all and fall to the floor, or a myriad of things. Blowing up is optional. Often accompanied by an aooga horn. Subtrope of Wild Take. Compare Eye Take, the realistic and more characterizing form of this. If you're looking for the effect of being exposed to a vacuum, see Explosive Decompression.
— Bertie Wooster, Thank You, Jeeves
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Don Patch and Jelly Jiggler do this in shock after seeing Giga's true form, as well as Beauty most of the time, when being shocked by everything Bobobo does
- Most of the cast of One Piece do this very frequently, more often than not in conjunction with the Jaw Drop.
- Chisame of Mahou Sensei Negima! did this when she saw Negi and Kotarou innocently checking out a Yaoi doujinshi. Her eyes smashed the lenses of her glasses along the way.
- Slayers are quite famous for this trope (with the exception of Xellos). One notable example from the second season was when the crew were hunting for a lake dragon. Zelgadis emerges from the lake, covered in barnacles, and Amelia invokes this trope.
- Dragon Ball has an example with Master Roshi when his eyes popped out through his sunglasses upon seeing Goku and Krillin budging a giant rock late in their first martial arts training.
- In My Hero Academia, Uraraka's eye pop out when he parent surprise her at her own apartment. Her mother proceeds to push them back in.
- In one episode of Nerima Daikon Brothers, when Mako sings of the expensive champagne she wants to drink, seeing the price makes Hideki's eyes bug out so far, they tower above the buildings in town. He even sings "My eyes are bugging out!" ("Medama booon!") as this happens.
- In Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Brief has this reaction after Stocking chops Panty into piece at the end of the series.
- In one chapter of 3-gatsu no Lion, Rei's eyes pop slightly out of his glasses once he learns that Nikaidou composed his own, extremely elegant, introductory shogi book.
- Calvin and Hobbes likes to show several extra pairs of eyes jumping out of shocked characters' heads.
- Garfield's Law of Cartoon Physics: "The size of one's eyeballs is directly proportional to the weight of the anvil landing on one's tail."
- Subverted in a Bloom County strip where Opus does this in response to a high phone bill. The next panel is him sitting down, holding his eyes while saying to the audience "Do you have any idea how painful that sort of thing is?" And subverted again in another strip where Opus has received some shocking news, and it shows him "not taking it well" by cutting to him with his eyes popped and bowties spinning around. Milo then points out "You know, when Roger Rabbit does that, he usually goes back to normal in a second or two..."
- Occurred at least once in Zits (and even wound up on the cover of a collected volume), when Jeremy's eyes not only popped out but then rolled into the next room. His father, seeing them, thought, "That must have been a really stupid question!" just as Jeremy's mom shouted, "Don't you roll your eyes at me, young man!"
- Lambik's eyes do this in the Suske en Wiske album "De Dolle Musketiers" when he first sees Jerom.
Films — Animation
- Happens often in Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Roger. Other characters do it as well, including the weasels and Judge Doom. Remember me, Eddie?! When Eddie first lays eyes on Jessica Rabbit, his own eyes look as if they're about to do that.
- Played straight in Horton Hears a Who! as Horton is being roped and caged, a Wickersham in the cake has this happen to him as Horton accidentally sits on him.
Films — Live-Action
- The title character in The Mask does it three times: once in his apartment building, once in the Coco Bongo club (followed by the Heart Beats out of Chest example/Trope Codifier), and finally when confronted by a lot of cops with guns.
- Twilight Zone: The Movie:
- A strange live-action variant occurs when John Lithgow's character reacts to the monster staring at him through the window of the plane. While it's pre-CGI, his eyes bug out in a completely inhuman way. Just five frames long, and you can see a screencap of the most extreme eye-bugging here.◊
- Earlier in the third act, a Toon brought to real life briefly does this before blowing up.
- Happens in Drop Dead Fred, when Fred slid under a lady's skirt.
- In Don Jon we see this happening to a cartoon character while lusting after a hot Ms. Fanservice in a brief scene at the start of the film.
- Happens in Critters 2: The Main Course when a crite sees it's friend get blown up in the restaurant.
- Tank Girl. After Tank Girl and Jet Girl escape from Water And Power, there's a animated interlude with the two girls driving in Tank Girl's tank. At one point Jet Girl's eyes bug out of their sockets at Tank Girl's antics.
- In Mad Max, this is Nightrider and Toecutter's reactions before their deaths.
- Odd Joe, the comedian a.k.a. the psychic vampire Dandelo can do this in the last book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, just by smacking his head in a certain way. Because of his psychic influence, Susannah and Roland take a good long while to realize just how impossible this should be for a human.
- The only creature from Wayne Barlowe's Expedition to have a sense of vision is the rimrunner, a one-legged polar animal that can extend a single eye from the front of its head in the manner of this trope. Its ability to detect light is very poor by Earth standards, but the rimrunner's degenerate eye has been repurposed to enhance the sonar by which most Darwin IV animals navigate.
- A common gag in Whose Line Is It Anyway, usually performed by Ryan while playing the "Props" game whenever he had objects that could even vaguely mimic the effect.
- Jess from New Girl imitates it by moving her glasses back and forth, complete with sound effects.
- An episode of Sister Sister makes use of this trope by having Tamera's eyes bulge out of her head when she first sees Tia's old friend, Darnel.
- When the woman enters in the music video for Pitbull's "Fireball," the reactions include a man's eyes popping out of his head to stare at her.
- The playble characters in Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest do this when bosses arrive.
- In certain Metal Gear Solid games, in addition to an exclamation point appearing over their heads, a guard's eyes will bug out of their head when they see Snake.
- In King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, this is Alexander's reaction to the hunter's lamp bubbling and boiling for the perfection of the Make Rain Spell... while locked in a cage over the druids' bonfire!
- In Brain Dead 13, Fritz gets this reaction when he sees that Lance is still alive, unaware that he has been tricked into looking into the cannon.
- Done quite unpleasantly in Mortal Kombat X during Raiden's Finishing Move, as well as Johnny Cage and Cassie Cage's Brutalities.
- In the Sega Saturn and Playstation versions of Spot Goes To Hollywood, this happens to Spot in the Pirate level cutscene as he is moving forward toward the Pirate level.
- Cyanide & Happiness has bluntly deconstructed the trope.
- As has El Goonish Shive. Eyes aren't meant to pop out that way.
- In Eerie Cuties this happens to Blair almost every time he sees Chloe, the succubus schoolgirl.
- In Ménage à 3, when Kiley sees Sonya's sexy (and well-endowed) MMS to Gary, her eyes pop in the shape of boobs.
- Monster Soup has a more realistic version with a physical cause here.
- Happens to Bob at his first sight of Princess Voluptua in a very early Inexplicable Adventures of Bob strip.
- Roy's eyes pop out of his head when he sees the cartoonified Karen at the end of the The Cartoon Man.
- In Home On The Rails, the rabbit does this when it comes into the house as usual and sees the man lying on the tracks preparing to kill himself.
- In one episode of Arthur, Buster dreams about aliens, and when he sees them his eyes pop out.
- Early use by Tex Avery in the MGM wolf cartoons like Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), in reaction to a beautiful woman.
- There is an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures where Plucky practices an over-the-top version of the trick but loses control and gets stuck as a giant eyeball.
- Happens in SpongeBob SquarePants regularly, usually to Spongebob, Patrick, or Squidward.
- Looney Tunes does this, especially as an Unusual Euphemism for Something Else Also Rises.
- Happens in one of The Simpsons' Halloween specials where Bart and Lisa are caught in Itchy & Scratchy's show. While their eyes are still out of their sockets they run away causing their eyes to follow up only later.
- In another Treehouse of Horror episode Bart becomes Stretch Dude and is able to stretch everything, including his eyes.
- Deconstructed in the episode "The Scorpion's Tale" where a drug overlubricates the eyes of Grampa Simpson, causing them to pop out. Gruesomely.
- Happens in The Ren & Stimpy Show, naturally.
- Not frequently used in Disney's canon, but it does happen to Donald Duck in Mickey Mouse Works.
- In one episode of I Am Weasel Weasel and Baboon are Animated Actors and one of the things their director makes them to do is have this reaction to mundane objects. ie. "Oh look, an egg" * Eyes pop out of sockets*
- Tom and Jerry has used this at least a few times.
- A standard of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
- No discussion of the Eye Pop would be complete without mentioning Tex Avery, who, although he may not have originated it, certainly developed it into an art form.
- Futurama features a version of this with Bender, who is able to telescope his eyeballs, complete with whirr sound effect. Not used so much to indicate shock, but rather to get a better view of something (usually a shapely fembot). In one occasion, he extends them too far and they fall off.
- Done often in Rocko's Modern Life; one memorable example involved an eye doctor intentionally provoking this by frightening Rocko and then making him hold the pose while he examined them.
- A version of this happens to Enzo in the Evil Dead game, but it only happens to his right eye. This is used to foreshadow the fact that Enzo loses that eye three episodes later.
- Wylie Burp from An American Tail: Fievel Goes West weaponized the Eye Pop. By the end of the movie, Fievel, Tiger, and even Wylie take it to the extreme.
- The titular character of Courage the Cowardly Dog would react with this, sometimes with some atypical twist on the classic gag.
- One episode of Space Goofs had a devil make several characters, including Candy, Etno and Gorgious, sign their souls to him. When Candy and Gorgious disguised as doctors first arrive at the devil, the latter offers them a refrigerator full of food and a complex vaccum cleaner called the SuckMaster 40000. When Gorgious sets his eyes on the refrigerator, his eyes pop out this way and, as he's wearing glasses in his doctor form, they fall off by the time.
- Used on Jimmy Two-Shoes, when a Creepy Crossdresser is discovered.
- Use in the pilot episode of Teacher's Pet when Leonard discovers that Scott is actually his dog Spot.
- It's actually one the most frequently used tropes in the show.
- The Opus and Bill Christmas special A Wish for Wings That Work repeated the gag from Bloom County above, only with Opus rubbing his eyes saying "Ooh! Ow!" instead of commenting.
- In VeggieTales, this happens to Junior upon hallucinating the family photo turning into monsters.
- This has happened quite frequently to Mr. Bogus.
- Subverted hilariously in Ed, Edd n Eddy in an episode where Eddy's eyes grow enormously large with rage. They stay that way leading Ed to poke them and Edd wondering how they got that big.
- Most of the cast from Gumby would occasionally do this, but especially Pokey.
- The Fairly Oddparents has begun to use these in many episodes since its revival in 2008.
- This was a specialty of Classic Disney Shorts and Hanna-Barbera animator Hugh Fraser, often when the characters he animated were scared or shocked their eyes would pop out and stretch to absurd lengths for a split second.
- Kim Goodman can pull this trick off in real life. She discovered her talent when she got hit on the head by a hockey mask, making her eyes pop out. She holds the Guinness World Record for farthest eyeball protrusion since 1998 and demonstrated the trick in the "Stupid Human Tricks" segment of The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997. She even made a living out of it by appearing in commercials and popping her eyes out in surprise at, for example, a competitor's prices.